Your First Year as a Trucker Driver: What You Should Expect

 

What to Expect When You’re Expecting to Be A Truck Driver: The First Year

The time between earning a CDL and getting your first trucking job can be a nerve-wracking experience, full of uncertainty and questions. What will your life be like once you become a truck driver? What is expected of you? And how can you prepare for this job?

Yes, it’s a time of upheaval in your life, a major change in the day-to-day way you live. So what should you expect from your first year as a truck driver?

Don’t look for Mr. Right, look for Mr. Right Now

First, don’t expect to get your dream job right out of the starting blocks. It’s going to take some time to settle in to the routine, get all of the rules down pat, and get comfortable behind the wheel. Barr-Nunn trucker Dave Casanova says that first year is key to development. “The first job you get out of school most likely won’t be the one you stay at for 20 years,” he said. “The first job is where you should be learning about everything you need to be safe and compliant.”

By focusing on safety and development the first 12 months, you are more likely to establish good driving habits that will serve you throughout your career. Let your ambition rest and focus on building solid skills during this time.

The important thing is finding a job. You can go after a good job down the road, once you’re skills are where they should be. But getting yourself employed is your first goal, so focus on meeting it first.

Expect to do the dirty work

Low man on the totem pole is the one who has to do the dirty work, and paying dues is as much an issue in trucking as in any field. If your trucking company has a “undesirable load” it needs to haul, you may be the person called upon to perform the task. All part of the job, says a Trucking Truth blog article on the subject. “Someone has to haul them. Sometimes it’s easier to get a new guy to take them rather than a veteran.” Understand that doing the tough stuff is a down payment for someone else doing it down the road.

You will be tested

Your new employer will want to see what you’re made of. Can you deliver the tough loads on time? Can you be counted on when the chips are down? Will you put the company first? These are all things that your supervisors and managers will want to know about you, and they will put you to the test to find out. Don’t take the reputation you build in your first year lightly; it could follow you for years to come.

Have a good attitude

The key to success in most any job is having a good attitude. Care about what you are doing, but don’t look at yourself as the be-all, end-all when it comes to doing things “right.” It is important to consider other people’s ideas and feelings as well, especially when you are the rookie. Give yourself some time to grow into a role of authority, and until that time comes, respect the veterans.

Getting used to the lifestyle

There is no way around it: being an OTR truck driver is a tough lifestyle, and it’s not for everyone. Weeks out on the road, long hours, then on to the next job. It takes a special kind of person to even consider it. Even if you are that person, it can be easy to become burned out if you don’t cope with the demands of the job. Stay in contact with your friends and family on a regular basis, and maintain connections as much as possible. Don’t miss out on opportunities to live life while you’re chasing your career.

Truck drivers are a unique breed. If that’s the fraternity (or sorority) you’re looking to join, do your all to ensure you can stay in the field for the long haul. You will be tested, and a trial by fire is an apt way to describe your first year of trucking. Come through that trial sparkling and cool on the other side and get your career into motion.

Veterans: Make The Transition to Civilian Life as a truck Driver

 

Veterans: Need a Post-Service Career? Trucking May HelpThe time immediately following discharge is a pivotal time in the life of a military servicemember. The skills he or she has already learned are in place, and making the decision to enter the job market, seek schooling, or both will shape the next several years of their lives.

Military veterans often face a tough road once their time in the service is completed. Many are discharged and immediately encounter difficulty finding a new career path or job. This is particularly troublesome given the service they have provided to their country that they have so much difficulty.

Of course, much of that problem stems from employers not knowing the value of the work soldiers, sailors and Marines performed on a daily basis. In addition to the soft skills—things like discipline, leadership, and any of them learn valuable trade skills, like accounting, mechanics, and construction.

For servicemembers who did spend time operating large vehicles similar to those that run commercially on American roadways, you have a potential built-in career track that you shouldn’t discount. For many ex-military personnel, particularly those who worked in motor pools or drove military vehicles, a career in the trucking industry may be a good option to explore.

Driving military vehicles, particularly the large trucks and transports that are commonly operated among the armed forces, afford many discharged servicemembers a viable career path. Many trucking companies feature veteran training programs in an effort to attract those with a military background, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), recognizing the potential importance of skilled drivers, even developed and implemented a military Skills Test Waiver, where qualified military personnel can test out of the time and expense of applying for a commercial driver’s license.

The Military Skills Test Waiver form addresses all of the issues of this regulation, including which violations will trigger a denial of the waiver, identifying the vehicles the service member was licensed to drive, and an endorsement by the service member’s commanding officer attesting to a safe driving record.

In addition, many trucking companies offer veterans’ programs. For instance, TMC Transportation has pledged to hire 500 vets by 2016 through the “Hiring Our Heroes” program, and Schneider, Con-Way Truckload, and Swift Transportation are among many other companies either claiming to be “military friendly” or have programs of some sort.

The point is this: if you are a veteran coming out of your military service, you have career options. Military skills can translate easily to job skills whether you’re an infantryman, a military policeman, or in finance. For transport drivers, making the transition to trucking can be as natural as your morning PT or saluting a superior.

Truck Driver Networking Tips: Finding Your Next Job

 

Because the trucking industry is something of a unique profession to get into, truck drivers tend to go their own way and may ignore or neglect some of the skills and strategies for success that other professionals swear by.

One of those skills and strategies is a rather important one: networking. For most professionals, “networking” more or less means “making friends in your industry,” keeping in contact with people you know and meet in order to (hopefully) forge professional connections that help you both succeed in your field of endeavor.

The logic here is simple: the old adage “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” If you know key people at trucking companies around your area, you’ll be privy to job openings, perhaps sooner than the general public. As people get promoted, friends can hire you and become supervisors (and vice versa, of course).

In the trucking industry this is as important as it is anywhere else, though it may seem kind of hard to come by. After all, truck drivers aren’t necessarily attending bi-monthly seminars, coffee klatches and speed networking events like other professionals, because they are typically too busy actually hitting the road and getting somewhere.

But as a professional truck driver, you still have some vital networking resources that you would be wise to consider keeping up with.

Trucking industry sites: You want to stay on the cutting edge of information in your industry, which is why you visit trucking industry sites daily to keep up with the latest innovations, law changes, and other occurrences in the biz. You can then circulate these articles around social media, and speak a little more intelligently about topics that come up elsewhere.

Message boards: Many drivers tool around on message boards, seeking advice, posting and looking for job openings, and just generally horsing around with other drivers, virtually speaking. There are many truck driving message boards, but Truckers Forum, Truckers Report, and Trucking Boards are three popular ones. Find a couple you are most comfortable with and join. Post with regularity and engage other truck drivers.

Social Media: Of course you should start with the essentials—that is, LinkedIn and Facebook—to establish connections. Pay particular attention to LinkedIn by keeping your profile fully updated, and join a couple of truck driving groups and make frequent posts and connections. Post articles and videos important to the trucking industry, and stay active (check and comment or post at least twice a day if possible). Of course, there are trucking social media sites like this and this that can also help you make connections on a larger scale.

Union meetings: If you’re a union employee, meetings are your chance to put your expertise to work for you. If you have followed these other bits of advice, you’ll likely find yourself a more informed voter, able to make a better decision on your union vote, and you’ll also perhaps hold more sway with your co-workers and friends as well. Plus it gives you opportunity to meet union employees from other companies, giving you the chance to mention if you are interested in new opportunities.

Truck stops: Ah yes, your everyday bastion of trucker activity. If you find yourself meeting the same people at multiple truck stops, why not make friends? Being sociable is the biggest way to network, so merely chatting with a colleague and maybe having breakfast or coffee together could be a good way to establish new contacts.

Conventions, conferences, and seminars: You may not be all that jazzed about the idea of going to a trucking convention or conference, but why not give it a shot? You get to hobnob with your industry’s leadership, get some good advice, and meet some colleagues along the way.

Trucking Groups and Organizations: Perhaps the best way to network is to join a group whose primary mission is to introduce truck drivers to each other for professional development. Groups like the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), National Truckers Association, and America’s Independent Trucking Association

Women in Trucking: 5 Tips For a Successful Driving Career

 

Women in TruckingWhile it’s still not a profession many women think of for themselves (or one the industry necessarily thinks of for them), more and more women are giving trucking a shot. Traditionally thought to be a masculine occupation, trucking is, like many other professions, seeing an uptick in representation by women.

Still, only about 5 percent of truckers are of the female persuasion, which makes them a small but potentially important minority in the truck driving community.

If you ask female truck drivers, they will tell you the transition isn’t easy. Chris Kiser was a truck driver for Werner Enterprises for 8 years and is a former trainer, so she knows a little about being on the road and the trucking lifestyle. While she says truck driving is “long, tedious hours,” she says it’s “an honest living, and with time can not only be self-rewarding but provide you with a decent income,” she said.

Kiser offers tips for women who are looking to get into trucking. Her advice includes as much guidance for handling time off the road as on, though she recognizes the importance of keeping your attention on your job.

1. . .Be safety focused: Life on the road (and off) can be frightening for the burliest of men; for a physically smaller woman, it can be pretty hairy. “I was never afraid because I knew how to stay safe,” she said. “I didn’t walk the truck stops in the middle of the night, I didn’t take chances driving at full speed in bad weather, and I obeyed all the rules of driving.”

2. . . Have a thick skin: As much progress as we as a society have made, the fact remains that there are still drivers who feel threatened by women. “The CB’s are full of “anonymous” guys who have a comeback for everything,” Kiser said. “You must be able to take criticism and stand up for what you believe is right,” she said.

3. . . Focus on the work: Always remember you are out on the road to do a job, and remain focused on that job. Getting sidetracked, off course, or otherwise delayed will only make the job more difficult. “Whether you are working the docks or inspecting your rig for safety issues there are no shortcuts,” she said. “You have to be able to know your capabilities yet challenge yourself to do better the next time.”

4. . . Don’t be afraid of getting dirty: “Trucking is not for the type of woman who is concerned with staying clean, looking pretty or breaking a fingernail,” Kiser said. “She has to be of strong mind, be able to maintain focus at all times and have self-confidence.”

5. . . Know your tools. If you think you’re not physically strong enough to drive the truck and move your freight, Kiser has good news for you: most of the “heavy lifting” can be overcome simply by knowing how to use your tools. “Puling the fifth wheel or tandem bars can be tricky, especially if they’ve become stuck by rust or grease, or the load is heavy,” she said. “But it’s all a matter of knowing how to do it and utilizing the tools we carry, like hammers, knives, tandem pullers, and silicone sprays.”

Being Self Employed in the Trucking Industry: Find Your Success

 

A lot of truck drivers, even those who are just starting out, recognize the potential benefits of becoming an owner-operator. Who doesn’t want the freedom associated with working for yourself, being a business owner and finding the potential to hit it big and turn your little one-person operation into a fleet of your own?

It’s more than a possibility for many people getting into the industry: it’s a dream. But it’s also a journey fraught with peril, something you should consider carefully and prepare for meticulously if you want to find real success as a trucking owner-operator.

It’s important to keep in mind that embarking upon this path means leaving the safety and relative security of your regular trucking job. You’ll be on your own for things like insurance, and you won’t have the big trucking company backing you up if you get into trouble.

So if you’re keen to strike out on your own, you should make the proper preparations. While you can find success, and yes, perhaps even find real success that you can build into something lasting, you should follow these steps (at least to some degree).

Get some experience working for trucking companies. You don’t want to jump into the deep end before you learn to swim, and neither do you want to be a rookie truck driver expecting fame and fortune right out of the gate. Give yourself a few years working for “the man” to learn how the business works, from the driving to keeping costs down on the road to working the logbooks. Get in with someone in the office and take notes on how to properly run a business of your own.

Save some money. Be sure you can afford to buy or lease your truck, and beware of companies willing to throw a truck to you under suspicious circumstances. Barr-Nunn truck driver David Casanova cautions against working with companies. “Plenty of companies out there will be willing to lease you a $150,000 truck with as little as 6 months experience and no money down,” he said. “They know you don’t know the numbers involved, they don’t give title to the truck unless you’ve paid it off, and while you are a contractor they don’t have to pay for certain benefits an employee would get.” Instead of this shortcut, save up for a healthy down payment on your truck and buy through legitimate channels only.

Consider your private life. Families and private lives complicate the work of an owner-operator, who is often on the road an even longer time than other truck drivers. If you want to be home to see your family, it may not be feasible to do so as a successful owner-operator, especially initially. The decision between making that extra money and spending some time with your children can be a difficult one.

Becoming an owner-operator is a huge step in the life of a truck driver. Don’t approach it lightly, and certainly don’t jump in without the proper experience, finances, and having your private life in order. Having your life in order and being fully prepared to take on this responsibility and privilege is a key step in doing it successfully versus getting yourself into strangling debt and a bad situation.

Avoid Failing Your CDL Driving Test With These Tips

 

It’s a trucker’s worst nightmare: failing the CDL Exam. When you’re talking about passing the written portion, that’s the easy part: it’s all a bunch of regulations and rules that you can study in your spare time.

But the driving portion of the exam can give you fits. What if your truck malfunctions? What if you forget the rules, or focus on obeying them so much that you make a mistake? How will you ever get your commercial driver’s license?

First of all, calm down; it’s not as bad as you think. Building a bunch of pretest anxiety is only going to hurt your chances. Just focus on what you have learned both in the classroom environment and in the truck. That’s what you’re there for, after all; I you’ve gotten to this point, you obviously have spent some time in the truck, hopefully enough to earn a CDL and develop the skill necessary for a long, prosperous career in the cab of a big rig.

And that calmness is going to be your biggest ally, keeping you from making a hasty or careless mistake as a result of your overeagerness. Many of us suffer from test anxiety; keep it in mind that is in your head, and is something you (mostly) have control over. Keep your mind focused on the task at hand rather than the consequences of not doing something correctly.

Trucking Truth writer Brett Aquila says it best in his article on passing the CDL exam: “It feels like your life, your career, your everything depends upon whether or not you can pass this exam and get your CDL,” he wrote. “And the CDL Examiners want it that way. They want to see if you can handle the pressure. Will you freeze up when someone is critiquing your driving? Will you panic if you miss a shift?” The lesson? Remain as calm as possible.

Try to avoid getting flustered or intimidated. Try to maintain the attitude that you belong here and stay confident in that fact as much as possible. If you make a small mistake, don’t dwell on it; instead, work to avoid another. Compounding errors will only make things worse for you.

While it may seem a bit too obvious, the next key to not bombing the exam is to avoid mistakes that could result in an automatic fail. These are safety hazard-type mistakes that can lead to accidents on the road. Things like running a red light, getting involved in an accident, or failing to signal when changing lanes or making a turn. But there are other errors that can be considered auto fails by your driving instructor. Things like

  • Hitting a curb
  • Rolling backward from a stop
  • Not checking mirrors properly before changing lanes.

The easy response to avoiding these types of catastrophic lapses is to be on your A game, but that’s exactly what you need to do. Keep yourself sharp, and have a good driving routine established. Create a mental checklist of things to do while driving in order to keep yourself moving in the right direction, or whatever you need to ensure you don’t skip a step.

Another consideration is making what Aquila calls “acceptable mistakes.” That is, making smaller, more common mistakes like missing gears, or those that err on the side of caution. For instance, taking a turn that is slightly too wide as opposed to taking it too narrowly and risking hitting a curb. The key to surviving those mistakes is not being flustered and repeating it, or making others.

Have you gotten the picture yet? The overall moral to this story is to rely on your driving skills, don’t put too much pressure on yourself, and let nature run its course. Remember that you can do it!

Truck Driver Podcasts: 5 Free Shows For Your Playlist

 

We’re all career-driven these days, aren’t we? If you’re starting a career, chances are good that you have many additional resources at your disposal no matter what your occupation. Message boards, blogs, and news sites permeate for many different industries, and trucking is no different. In fact, the trucking industry may have a stronger online community than many professions.

In the old days (which is to say pre-Internet), whether we were truck drivers or factory workers, lawyers, doctors, or car salesmen, people would go to work, talk about their work with co-workers, and go home, ostensibly to forget (or fret) about their jobs until the next day.

What this causes for career-minded folk is strain on time and the risk that we think too much about our work. If you visit 3 industry blogs and news sites, and spend a few minutes on 2 or 3 different message boards, you are already in essence adding another hour to your workday.

Enter: Podcasts.

You all know podcasts, right? They’re essentially radio shows that are broadcast through, and stored on, the Internet. They generally serve one specific topic, which can be virtually anything in the world. Movies, entertainment, news, crime, self-help, whatever the topic, chances are there is a podcast about it. And yes, there are several solid podcasts devoted to truck driving:

 Ask The Trucker "LIVE" w/Allen Smith By Aubrey Allen Smith Ask the Trucker LIVE with Allen Smith: Veteran blogger and truck driver Allen Smith focuses on driver health, career tips, driving regulations, and the other important issues facing the trucking industry. One of the top names in the industry, you can’t go wrong with this podcast.

 

Truck Driver 101Truck Driver 101.com: Hosted by “Big Ken,” Truck Driver 101.com has 6 years of trucking under his belt and puts his focus on helping drivers who are new to trucking. That doesn’t mean you won’t be listening to his podcast even as a seasoned veteran, though. (note: podcasts contain explicit content)

 

Trucking PodcastTrucking Podcast: Co-hosted by father-and-son team Buck and Don Ballard, Trucking Podcast talk both trucking and “other topics we believe interest truckers and guys in general. Mostly, anything to do with gears, a motor, and wheels. We love semi trucks, pickup trucks, rat-rods, jeeps, RVs, and nearly anything automotive.”

Trucker DumpTrucker Dump: With topics like “Stupid Rules That Truckers Tolerate” and “Coping with Rookie Truckers,” Trucker Dump offers humor and insights on just about anything in the trucking industry. On the podcast’s home page there are also accompanying blogs of varying lengths and complexities, meaning you can read along on driving breaks if you so choose.

Road Gunner PodcastThe Road Gunner Podcast: Hosted and produced by “The Un-Named Trucker” (who does in fact have a name—Charles “Chaz” Murray), who works a little more “blue” Than some of the other podcasters. He offers uncensored opinions about topics like why New Jersey sucks (and Alaska rules) and attending the NRA’s annual meeting in 2015.

Most of these podcasts can be accessed through iTunes or Google Play as well as at the links provided.

Podcasts are terrific tools for truck drivers, with the added advantage that they can learn more about their profession while they’re doing their job. Podcasts are free and downloadable and you can listen to them in the cab while you’re driving, which means you can plug in and listen on the go.

Archived content means you can download multiple episodes at once and binge listen, and trust me, once you’re hooked you will be binge listening. Finding podcasts that you truly love will have you avoiding the FM and AM dial and their divisive or brainless content for something with substance.

If you are a truck driver, or will be soon, you should have at least one or two of these podcasts ready to download and listen to at any given time. It’s a no-brainer, right? You listen while you’re working, meaning you can devote less time to reading trucking blogs on your break, which means more off time for finding out what the Kardashians are up to. (I kid, I kid…)

 

Can’t handle over-the-road trucking jobs? Go local. Or regional.

 

It’s common knowledge that truck drivers spend a great deal of time on the road, making trips and delivering freight. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be home for dinner each night. There are two types of trucking jobs—local and regional jobs, where drivers who aren’t interested in the over-the-road lifestyle and the maddening amount of time on the road.

 Can’t handle over-the-road trucking jobs? Go local. Or regional.

Here are a few details about local and regional jobs that you may not know.

  • Local drivers ordinarily are home every day, or sometimes every other day
  • Local routes usually are stationed within the city or county where the driver lives
  • Routes are generally the same routes for the same companies every day.
  • Local drivers tend to

 

Regional jobs are maybe the in-between for local and over-the-road jobs.

  • Truck drivers are often gone on weekdays and get home on weekends.
  • Routes run a radius of about 1,000 miles from the driver’s home.
  • Freight varies day to day, which means the routes may vary considerably.

 

If you are nervous or unsure about the prospect of having an over-the-road truck driving job, you can know that you have additional options for local and regional driving jobs that can have you home a little more frequently than the standard over-the-road job. Talk to anyone in our Job Placement department about the type of trucking company that is right for you!

Team Driving: Is It What You’re Looking For?

 

Loneliness is can be a big drawback to the trucker’s life. The days and even weeks of continuous solitude (outside of short stints at the truck stop, anyway) can get to even the most hardened of loners out on the road.

But there is a solution. What about team driving? After all, two bodies are better than one, right?

As with any too-good-to-be-true scenario, though, it often IS a little too good to be true. There are certainly many positive and negative aspects to tandem driving, and quelling the loneliness factor is but one of them.

Thumbs-UpPRO: You can drive longer. While there are rules limiting how much team drivers can stay in the truck at any one time without a rest, In general team driving gives a primary advantage of being able to drive for longer periods of time. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules dictate a single driver may only run a certain amount of time without rest. Team drivers can switch off driving duties, allowing the truck to continue rolling down the pike to its destination with fewer stops and breaks.

However, beware that this does not mean you get twice as much road time if you have a partner. FMCSA rules have recently been changed, requiring 10 consecutive hours off-duty, and only two of those hours may be spent in the passenger seat of the truck. That means that driver must spend time either out of the truck or in the sleeper berth. However, your driving partner still affords you a significant amount of potentially additional time in the truck.

Thumbs-DownCON: You have to share the truck with someone else. Probably the single biggest hangup to the team driving setup is the fact that you are sharing your already tight cab with another person. That means you are essentially married to that person: sharing a sleeping space (though hopefully not at the same time) and a living area in a home where neither person can stand up and leave the room. Tiffs and squabbles can become really awkward really quickly, and you have to also be aware of the other person’s feelings and needs as well as your own.

Thumbs-UpPRO: Team incentives are great. Large trucking companies many times offer team driving incentives such as a sign-on bonus or a 5,000 mile-per-week guarantee, even if the team doesn’t log that many miles. They also frequently enjoy higher per-mile and safety bonus rates, and often get priority dispatch.

 

Thumbs-DownCON: You’re still splitting the check. Keep in mind that even though you get more money, you’re still splitting the money you earn, so you will need to calculate how many miles you need to run, and whether that number is realistic and feasible, in order to operate at a profit for both of you.

 

Thumbs-UpPRO: You can take your spouse. Husband and wife teams, (or simply spousal pairings, depending on your situation) are relatively common in truck driving tandems. If you don’t have children it can make for a fun and rewarding experience with your significant other, seeing the world and working together…if that is a situation you can live with.

 

Thumbs-DownCON: You may be paired up with a stranger. If you don’t have a dedicated partner, you could be assigned on, and who knows how that will work? Being stuck on the road with someone you don’t trust can be a harrowing experience, so partnering with someone you don’t know is a high-risk, high-reward scenario. Approach it with caution.

 

The bottom line is, if you think you are interested in a team driving setup, do your research first. It can be a highly rewarding situation for you and for your partner, but so too can it very easily fall apart, leaving you potentially holding a very expensive bag.

The 8 Trailers Truckers Will Tow

 

Getting into the trucking industry, you’re going to be driving many different types of trucks and towing different trailers carrying cargo of all types. Truck drivers can find themselves towing everything from food and any sort of goods, to auto parts to entire vehicles to even houses.

The trailers required to properly transport those goods vary widely, as you may imagine. Trailers may vary significantly in terms of size and have different requirements and state roadway regulations, giving a wildly different driving experience for the driver. It’s important to know, then, what kind of trailer you’re hitching to your rig.

The 8 Trailers Truckers Will Tow

Here are 8 common types of truck trailers that you may, in your time as a truck driver, find yourself driving.

1.  Standard Freight Trailer. This is the most common trailer, and are used to carry most boxed, crated, and palletized freight. They are the rectangular-shaped trailers that most people associate with semi trucks. Coming in lengths varying from 28’ to 53’ and widths from 96” to 102” and generally are between 12.5’ and 13.5’ in height. While most Standard Freight Trailers have an axle-to-wheel ratio of 2:8, heavy loads use a 3:12 or 4:16 ratio.

2.  Refrigerated Truck Trailers (commonly known as “Reefer” trailers) have a cooling unit installed in the trailer, commonly toward the front, and are insulated to transport perishable, refrigerated, or frozen goods. In general, Reefer Truck Trailers come in the same dimensions as a Standard Trailer, with the only real difference being the refrigeration attached to the front, and the fuel tank stored beneath the trailer.

3.  Container Skeletal Carriers are designed to transport international cargo containers that can range from 20’ and 45’ in length. Some come in adjustable configurations to accommodate containers of varying sizes. They carry the standard 2:8, 3:12 and 4:16 axle/wheel configurations depending on load weights.

4.  Platform, or Flat Bed, Trailers consist of a flatbed trailer with no roof or sides. They are designed to haul oversize cargo that won’t fit inside a standard freight trailer, or for materials that need to be loaded or unloaded from the top or side of the trailer. They run up to 48’ in length and carry a variety of materials.

5.  Platform Drop deck/Gooseneck Trailers are used if you are carrying oversized or special cargo similar to a flat bed. They are used for cargo with special needs with minor differences to flatbed trailers. They have a similar feel to a standard platform trailer, but also include a raised bed, or gooseneck.

6.  Car Carrier Trailers are designed to transport cars, trucks, and similar vehicles. They generally have two levels, and a series or ramps designed for the loading and unloading of vehicles.

7.  Deep Drop Furniture/Electronics Trailers are often employed for relatively large, bulky, and light cargo. They feature a lower rear deck to allow a greater cargo capacity capability. As the name suggests, furniture and electronics are often transported in these types of trailers.

8.  Timber Trailers are what you’ll find yourself towing if you’re working in the logging industry. Essentially a flatbed trailer equipped with vertical stakes designed to hold logs into place, Timber Trailers are sometimes called “Loggers.”